Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Debate Speech of YB See Chee How, DUN Sarawak May 2017

N.11 Batu Lintang See Chee How Debate Speech text 17.05.2017

Datuk Speaker,

A few days ago, I have read a very passionate message from John Lewis, a 77-years old American Congressman of African-American origin. He wrote:

“Friend --

54 years sounds like a long time ago -- but in the context of our movement, it's only a blink.

It's only been 54 years since I marched with my brothers and sisters from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

It's only been 54 years since we were jailed, beaten, and killed for trying to cast a vote. For trying to participate in democracy, in the United States of America.

This isn't ancient history. It's the experience of my life …”

The American congressman was referring to the famous March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the March on Washington for civil and economic rights, or The Great March on Washington which was held in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, August 28, 1963. It was followed by the historical match from Selma to Montgomery which was in 1965.

The message from John Lewis was significant to me because this seasoned lawmaker - well-built, dark and handsome - reminded me of our very dear friend and leader, our former Chief Minister the late Tan Sri Adenan Satem.

The date 54 years ago was significant to John Lewis because as the then chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the young John Lewis was standing beside Martin Luthur King when MLK delivered his “I have a dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.

54 years ago, the youthful Adedan Satem was beside his father at the bank of Sungai Sarawak, witnessing the birth of Malaysia, as he recounted to us, not very long ago.

For the two big men, from a very young age, they are living and have lived to contribute to the nation that they have loved, changing the course of history.

For John Lewis, the spirited March on Washington and the even tempestuous March on Montgomery propelled the U.S. government into action on civil rights, creating political momentum for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

For our late former Chief Minister, I can do no better than to join the band of my honourable colleagues in this august House to pay tribute and to credit the late Tan Sri Adenan Satem for leading Sarawak on a march to start anew, to claim and defend what are rightfully ours, the autonomy promised and envisaged, to vigorously pursue the devolution of power.

“I love Sarawak and I want the people of Sarawak to love and care for Sarawak as much as I do,” let it be recorded that the 5th Chief Minister of Sarawak had left this Fairland Sarawak with those parting words.

Indeed, in his 3-years reign, “Sarawak” and “Sarawakians” had meant much more to the people of Sarawak, in the last 54 years.

This fairland Sarawak and her people were on his mind until his last breath.

Correspondingly, the name “Adenan Satem” was carved in the hearts of all Sarawakians. In her moving maiden speech, I am heartened to note that Honourable member for Tanjung Datu had acknowledged that and find solace and comfort in her irreparable loss.

With the late former Chief Minister, we have begun our march for economic and civil political rights for a new Sarawak. That is his legacy. We have to soldier on.

I congratulate Yang Amat Berhormat the Right Honourable Chief Minister for his appointment and I salute him for openly expressing his determination to continue the legacy of his predecessor.

With an open mind, it can be glimpsed from his new administration that the Right Honourable Chief Minister is restructuring the cabinet and making appointment of the ministers and assistant ministers according to what he envisages Sarawak to be in the future and to prepare and organize the executive for the global socioeconomic and political trends and the opportunities for the betterment of Sarawak.

The elevation and mounting emphasis towards education, oil and gas, energy development, digital economy, international trade and e-commerce development, native land development, urban public transportation and the setting up of the State Ombudsman are indicative of his directions to re-engineer the state’s governance and that deserves our due recognition and support.

The message is clear: The march for Sarawak’s economic and civil political rights is on.

I pray that I am right to say, that our Right Honourable Chief Minister is tuning the executive to be ready for the eventual successes in the series of discussions and meetings on the devolution of powers. I am positive with it, for why do we have a Ministry of Education if we do not foresee any headway in our pursuit for education autonomy, Sarawak’s ‘freedom in education’ as our former Chief Minister had set up to achieved? Surely, we do not want our Sarawak Education Minister finding himself not really having any more authority or responsibility than what our present state director of education has.

I look forward to the winding-up speech by Yang Amat Berhormat Ketua Menteri and am hopeful that the Right Honourable Chief Minister will enlighten this august House on the progress of our quest for autonomy and devolution of power.

I must, however, repeat my gentle caution that the re-engineering of the state’s governance will require the fullest support of all Sarawakians, and that warrants the new administration to adopt a new mindset towards the opposition parties in Sarawak, to recognize their positive and constructive roles in checking and monitoring the functions and performance of the administration. The mechanisms and process for “check and balance” should also be elevated and enhanced.

Parliamentary democracy may not be perfect, but it is the best there is. The “citizens initiated referendum” is being used by most countries practicing representative style of parliamentary democracy to compliment representative democracy and strengthen it, lobbying and mobilizing our citizens to participate in major decision-making. The people and the executives, and the government, are one in the march, a true force to claim and safeguard Sarawak’s rights and interests.

Where John Lewis comes from, representative democracy is being practiced. They have federal referendum, referendum at the state level, the district and local government level. Similarly in Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, the Philippines and many other countries that are practicing representative parliamentary democracy. It is, therefore, mistaken to say that only countries practicing direct democracy like Switzerland, has citizens initiated referendum.

Datuk Speaker,
I am particularly concerned with an aspect of civil rights of which our late former chief minister had always, in his administration and practice, advocated and defended but this civil right is always precarious and chanced upon circumstances and the will and pleasure of another leadership.

I am referring to the former Chief Minister’s legacy in upholding freedom of the press, which I hope it will also be the hallmark of the new administration.

Datuk Speaker,
I have the honour to be invited to attend the Kenyalang Journalism Awards held in Kuching two years ago. The late former chief minister was the guest of honour.

In his speech, the late Tan Sri Adenan Satem encouraged the media to be daring in exposing truth and injustice in society in their reports, so that “members of society will ‘wake up’ rather than being mere bystanders, and inspire them be more proactive towards issues”.

This, Adenan said, would enable the people to be more conscious on the lack of facilities in the rural areas as well as those that had been provided by the government.

However, he said it would only be fair that news reports must also touch on the positive happenings and not only highlight negative issues in the state. And he advised the media to also practise fairness in their reports by not accusing people without any back-up points or concrete proof.

“When people talk about the freedom of expression, it is usually seen as a right to support the opposition, it can also mean the freedom to support the government. There must be a balanced picture — do not think that only because one village has no water supply, the whole country is without water supply,” he said.

In simple words, he expressed his clear understanding of the significance of the freedom of the press to a democracy in which the government is accountable to the people, that a free media functions as a watchdog that can investigate and report on government wrongdoings, and it is also a vibrant marketplace of ideas, a vehicle for citizens to express themselves and gain exposure to a wide range of information and opinions.

Essentially, civil rights come with economic rights. The maxim goes as follows: “We want employment and with it, we want the pride and responsibility and self-respect that goes with the free access to jobs.”

The march for Greater Sarawak is on, I pray that the legacy of the late Tan Sri Adenan will be continued. I fervently wish that our Right Honourable Chief Minister will lead all Sarawakians to scale greater heights, for what Sarawak and Sarawakians truly deserved, for the betterment of all and our future generations.
 

Debate Speech by Ali Biju, DUN Sarawak May 2017

Bahas by Ali Biju N39 Krian, Persidangan Penggal Pertama DUN Sarawak ke 19, 11 May 2017

Tuan Speaker, terima kasih kerana memberi ruang kepada saya untuk turut mengambil bahagian membahaskan usul penghargaan atas ucapan Tuan Yang Terutama sempena upacara pembukaan persidangan pertama penggal kedua Dewan Undangan Negeri Sarawak ke-18 pada 11 Mei 2017.

Tuan Speaker,

Unemployment Among Graduates

First of all, I would like to highlight the issue of unemployment among graduates who are diploma and degree holders. Numerous statistics have indicated that the number of unemployed grads is rising year after year and this is very worrying and needs to be addressed immediately. According to the latest report from Bank Negara, 23% of university graduates are unemployed. Based on data from the Statistics Department and Job Malaysia, there are between 15,000 to 20,000 unemployed graduates in the state for the year 2016. The number of graduates applying for jobs in the State Civil Service is 40,834 out of a total of  169,527 applications. I agree that being a university graduate does not necessarily guarantee a job. However, unless the unemployment rate is reduced drastically in the near future, it may cause myriad of social problems. According to a JobStreet survey there are several contributing factors for unemployment of graduates, mainly:

1.  Unrealistic salary and benefits being demanded;

2.  A poor command of English;

3.  Being choosy about the job or company;

4.  Poor attitude or lack of character of graduates;

5.  Poor communication skills;

6.  A lack of initiative in job-seeking and disadvantaged self-marketing skills; and finally

7.  Mismatch between course curricula and industry requirement.

Further, Jobstreet glaringly pointed out that 70% of Malaysian employers are disappointed with the quality of fresh graduates. Employers felt that graduates lacked adaptability, multitasking skills, decision-making skills, problem solving skills and creative-critical thinking skills.  And most alarmingly, graduates are unemployed because they have pursued studies irrelevant to the job market. As such, the government needs to introduce new measures to improve the employability of graduates. I would like to suggest these measures:

1.  Improve proficiency in English by introducing access to special courses in English communications for fresh grads at no cost to them; 

2.  Create opportunities through work experience via government initiatives in the private sector for making available internship and practical training on a large scale throughout the State;

3.  Develop both hard and soft skills to be more well rounded via special free courses introduced at diploma and university levels;

4.  Greater involvement of the private sector in training and producing high quality graduates through incentives such as special tax rebates and exemption; and

5.  Government policy requiring institutions of higher learning such as colleges and universities to incorporate curricula relevant to industry requirements. This would inevitably entail improving the curriculum by including additional skills for the graduates and creating links with industries so that the industries can provide job opportunities for the graduates.

I believe local universities and colleges have placed too much emphasis on academic achievement compared to the soft skills. Let us be clear, academic qualifications are essential but in today’s workforce climate, the attitude of graduates is equally or even more important to employers. The establishment of a new Ministry of Education by the Sarawak government is crucial in addressing the employability of local graduates. The current Malaysian education system needs to be restructured and undergo a thorough overhaul to improve our graduates’ skills which will eventually increase their marketability and employability.

A final note on our unemployed graduates - the implementation of the Graduate Enhancement Training Sarawak (GETS) programme to assist unemployed graduates has yet to produce significant improvement. Few years back, Sarawakians were excited with the SCORE Project which was supposed to provide 2 million job vacancies. It was expected that there would be no such thing as graduate unemployment once SCORE became a reality but unfortunately, and quite apparently, that is not the case at the moment. Therefore, I would like to ask and know: how many jobs have been created from SCORE since it first started till today? Of these jobs, how many are being filled by local Sarawakians, how many by West Malaysians and how many are held by foreigners?

Pengambilan Tanah Tanaman Mulong/Rumbia Untuk Pembesaran Kampung

Tuan Speaker, saya telah dimaklumkan akan kemusykilan yang dihadapi oleh beberapa penduduk Iban dari Engkudu berkenaan dengan pampasan tanah asal Native Customary Right mereka di kawasan tanaman mulong atau rumbia di Lemachang, Hilir Sg Sebetan. Mengikut tuan tanah - tuan tanah disitu, moyang mereka yang bernama Liang anak Entalang bersama dengan penduduk rumah panjang asal Engkudu yang ber-Tuai Rumah-kan Encik Entika anak Sumbang telah menetap di kawasan berkenaan dengan mengusahakan tanaman mulong. Surat keizinan telah diberi oleh kerajaan negeri Sarawak yang diwakili oleh Resident Simanggang Encik Edward Jerah pada tahun 1920, hampir-hampir 100 tahun yang lalu. Sejak tarikh tersebut keturunan Encik Liang anak Entalang bersama dengan penduduk rumah panjang Engkudu meneroka dan bercucuk tanam dikawasan berkenaan dan sepanjang Sungai Sebetan mengikut adat tradisi suku kaum Iban tanpa halangan dari mana-mana pihak. Malahan penduduk Engkudu mempunyai hubungan yang rapat dengan kampung terdekat iaitu Kampung Kupang sejak dari dulu hingga sekarang. Menyedari akan keperluan penduduk Kampung Kupang untuk sebuah kawasan tanah baru untuk memperluaskan kampung mereka, maka kerajaan negeri Sarawak telah mengisytiharkan kawasan tanaman mulong di Lemachang iaitu sebesar 64.2 hektar sebagai Government (Kampung) Reserve yang dikenali sebagai Lot 5 Blok 11 Awik-Krian Land District; bertarikh 21 May 1987. Semasa proses pengambilan tanah tersebut melalui Gazette No. 2538, penduduk asal dari Engkudu yang telah pun memiliki hak NCR langsung tidak mengetahui perkara tersebut. Tiada perbincangan atau mesyuarat dibuat di antara Jabatan Tanah Ukur dengan penduduk asal.  Mereka hanya menyedari akan perkara tersebut apabila dihalang daripada membuat pembersihan [clearing] di kawasan tersebut. Sejurus menyedari akan kawasan tanaman rumbia mereka telah di gazette menjadi Government (Kampung) Reserve, penduduk rumah panjang Engkudu terus mengambil tindakan untuk menuntut pampasan gantirugi kehilangan tanaman rumbia yang telah ditebang tanpa pengetahuan mereka dan juga gantirugi tanah NCR daripada Jabatan Tanah dan Ukur sejak dari tahun 1994. Tetapi malangnya tuntutan meraka enggan dan/atau tidak diendahkan langsung. Memandangkan tuan tanah pernah menerima pampasan daripada kerajaan semasa pembinaan benteng [“ban”] dibawah Sebetan 1 Drainage Scheme, maka mereka adalah berhak dan wajib dibayar pampasan apabila tanah yang selebihnya diambil untuk memperluaskan Kampung Kupang. Ahli parlimen Saratok yang terdahulu pernah membuat rayuan kepada Ketua Menteri Sarawak pada tahun 2004 agar campur tangan untuk menyelesaikan kemelut tuntutan ini. Tetapi malangnya, sehingga kini belum ada sebarang cadangan mahupun penyelesaian. Oleh yang demikian, saya ingin meminta jasa baik pihak kerajaan untuk mempertimbangkan tuntutan mereka sewajarnya dan mencari penyelesaian yang memuaskan kedua-dua pihak. Tuan tanah ingin menegaskan bahawa mereka tidak sama sekali menentang rancangan memerluaskan Kampung Kupang, namun mereka hanya memohonon supaya adanya  tuntutan yang sahih dan berpatutan.

Kemudahan Infrastrukur dan Kemudahan Asas

Tuan Speaker, masih banyak kemudahan infrastruktur dan keperluan asas yang belum dilaksanakan dan saya sebagai wakil rakyat tidak akan jemu menagih janji-janji yang telah dibuat oleh menteri-menteri. Acapkali jawapan daripada pihak kementerian beralasankan menunggu peruntukan atau di dalam proses perancangan. Kenapa meluluskan projek sekiranya belanjawan tidak mencukupi? Penduduk setempat pasti terasa tertipu sekiranya perlaksanaan projek yang kononnya diluluskan tidak dilaksanakan secepat mungkin.

Jalanraya

Tuan Speaker, ada beberapa projek pembinaan naiktaraf jalan raya telah lama diumumkan oleh Perdana Menteri dan Menteri yang lain sejak bulan April 2016 yang lalu. Maka disini, saya ingin menyampaikan suara rakyat meminta pencerahan yang munasabah akan status projek-projek naiktaraf jalanraya seperti berikut;

1.  Penurapan Jalan Ulu Krian bermula dari Sungai Bansu ke Awas dan Ulu Krian yang berjumlah RM 15 juta.

2.  Penurapan Jalan Kabo-Sg Bangkong yang berjumlah RM 8 juta

3.  Menaiktaraf dan menurap Jalan Krangan Rusa-Babang dan membina jambatan merentasi Sg Krian di Krangan Rusa.

4.  Menurap Jalan Bajau-Kupang dan pembinaan Jambatan merentasi Sg Krian yang berjumlah RM 100 juta.

5.  Menurap Jalan Lubok Renit, Temudok, Klua, Sg Antu dan Senyawan

6.  Menurap Jalan Ulu Awik sepanjang 13.5km

7.  Menaiktaraf dan menurap Jalan Ulu Paku/Nanga Alum/Pakan sepanjang 11.8km

8.  Menaiktaraf Jalan Nanga Drau yang menghubungkan SK Nanga Drau dan 2 buah rumah panjang

9.  Menurap Jalan Mudong sampai ke Rumah James Bali di Tapang Ujan.

10.              Menaiktaraf Jalan ke Rumah Henry Sang, Ulu Krian

Akhirnya, apa yang sangat mengecewakan saya adalah keadaan Rumah Ibi di Nanga Ibus yang hanya beberapa km sahaja jauhnya. Hingga kini ianya masih belum lagi  disambungkan dengan apa-apa jenis jalan samaada jalan bertaraf kampung atau pun jalan bertaraf JKR. Penduduk Rumah Ibi masih lagi menggunakan perahu panjang berulang-alik ke Roban melalui Sg Seblak yang terkenal dengan populasi buaya yang banyak. Inilah satu-satunya rumah panjang yang masih terasing di seluruh N9 Krian. Banyak permohonan kepada pihak kerajaan telah dibuat sejak 15 tahun yang lalu. Saya telah membawa isu ini ke dewan yang mulia ini tetapi jawapan yang diterima adalah sama sahaja iaitu menunggu peruntukan. Yang aneh nya adalah perasmian pecah-tanah untuk pembinaan jalan ke Nanga Ibus telah beberapa kali dibuat sebelum pilihanraya, tetapi diberhentikan sebaik saja selepas pilihanraya selesai. Oleh yang demikian saya ingin menyeru mana-mana pihak yang bertanggung jawab seperti JKR, Majlis Daerah Saratok, Pejabat Daerah dan mana-mana pihak yang berkaitan untuk memberikan perhatian yang khursus dan mengambil tindakan segera terhadap keluhan penduduk-penduduk di situ.

Bekalan Air Terawat

Tuan Speaker, meskipun Loji Penapisan Air Kaki Wong sudah siap lebih 2 tahun yang lepas, masih ada kawasan yang belum lagi menikmati bekalan air terawat. Kawasan tersebut adalah seperti berikut:-

1.  SK Ulu Sebetan dan 4 buah rumah panjang di sepanjang Jalan Ulu Sebetan

2.  SK Mudong dan 8 buah rumah panjang di Jalan Mudong

3.  Sebanyak 10 buah rumah panjang di kawasan Brayang.

Maka disini saya ingin sekali lagi meminta pencerahan akan status perancangan pembinaan paip utama, tangki air dan booster pumps di kawasan berkenaan. Menteri yang berkaitan pernah memberitahu bahawa semua kawasan di atas akan menerima bekalan air bersih pada penghujung tahun 2017.

Dengan ini saya ingin mengakhiri uapan saya dengan mengucapkan Selamat Hari Gawai Dayak kepada kaum Dayaks, Selamat Hari Raya kepada penganut Islam dan Selamat Hari Guru kepada warga pendidik.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Hadi’s bill: Suhakam warns of treaty violations

 | May 16, 2017

Human Rights Commission of Malaysia also says it's the right of all Malaysians to voice concerns even though the bill is aimed at the Muslim community.
razali-1

PETALING JAYA: The government’s rights commission has today for the first time joined criticism of PAS’s recent move to give wider powers to shariah courts, saying the private member’s bill tabled in the Dewan Rakyat violates international treaties against torture signed by Malaysia.

“Caning and/or lashing in any setting violates the absolute prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment under international law,” the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) said in a statement today.

“Parliament must accordingly ensure that all laws passed by it, are reasonable, equitable and proportionate; as well as progressive and fair,” said the commission’s chairman Razali Ismail.

A main feature of the amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 proposed by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang is to increase the punishments for shariah offenders, from the current maximum fine of RM5,000, six lashes and three years imprisonment, to a maximum fine of RM100,000, 100 lashes and 30 years imprisonment.

The move has drawn mixed reactions from across the political divide.

PAS leaders and the bill’s backers from Umno have scoffed at critics, saying it was the right of Muslims to govern their lives based on what the party claims are divine laws.

Razali however warned that the bill’s proposal to allow shariah offenders to be sentenced to a maximum of 100 lashes of the cane was a violation of the “absolute prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment under international law”.

He reminded PAS that Malaysia was signatory to three international treaties, namely the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

The Suhakam chief also questioned attempts to stifle criticism of the bill on the pretext that it was only targeted at Muslims, saying the proposals would affect all Malaysians.

“Malaysians accordingly have the right to question whether the rights to liberty and to dignity are being protected adequately with the proposed amendments, and Suhakam underscores that the concept of proportionality is one of the fundamental principles of sentencing, grounded on the premise that, to be just, a sentence must be of a length and type,” said Razali.

~ Free Malaysia Today

CONSTRUCTION OF LAWAS HOSPITAL: Answer to Baru Bian's question DUN May 2017


CONSTRUCTION OF LAWAS HOSPITAL

(15)  YB Encik  Baru Bian  asked the Minister for Local Government on construction of
Lawas Hospital:

(a)         What is the status of its retendering?

(b)         What is the percentage of the allocated budget that has been utilised? 
(c)       What is the percentage of its completion? and
(d)         What is the new expected completion date?


Menteri  Muda  Perumahan  dan  Kesihatan  Awam  (YB Dr Haji  Annuar  Bin  Rapaee): Terima kasih, Tuan Speaker dan juga Yang Berhormat bagi Ba' Kelalan. Dia ada empat soalan di sini;

(a)    Yang pertama ialah mengenai status of its re-tendering. Tender untuk Fasa 2B projek Hospital Lawas telah dibuka pada 4 Mei yang lepas dan dijangka tutup pada 1 Ogos 2017;

(b)    Mengenai percentage of the allocated budget that has been utilized, setakat ini hanya 12.3% daripada peruntukan keseluruhannya yang berjumlah RM228 juta telah digunakan;

(c)    What is the percentage of its completion? Untuk Fasa 1 dengan kos RM2.4 juta, Fasa 2A dengan kos RM2.5 juta telah siap. Manakala Fasa 2B dengan kos RM2.4 juta yang telah saya maksudkan tadi sudah di-retender dan Fasa 1 dan 2A telah siap dengan sepenuhnya;

(d)    What is the new expected completion date? Proses pembinaan Hospital Lawas dijangka mengambil masa 36 bulan, Namun demikian tarikh siap projek ini akan bergantung kepada kelancaran retender yang telah disebutkan tadi. Terima kasih Yang Berhormat.

VB Encik Baru Bian: (Soalan Tambahan)   I wish to record my thanks to the answers from the Assistant Minister. If I may, Tuan Speaker, to ask two additional questions:-

(a)    What are the reasons for the retendering of this project?

(b)    Whether there is any plan to have a resident specialist allocated to Lawas once this project is completed? Thank you.

Menteri Muda Perumahan dan Kesihatan  Awam (YB Dr Haji Annuar Bin Rapaee): Let me answer the second question first. Mengenai specialist yang akan dihantar ke setiap hospital, dia banyak bergantung kepada kapasiti ataupun jumlah pesakit yang ada.

Pertama adalah dari segi bed occupancy  rate. Kalau bed occupancy rate nya tinggi maka memadai untuk pakar dihantar di kawasan tersebut. Walaubagaimanapun, Pakar Pelawat memang senantiasa dihantar di setiap hospital malah di Hospital Limbang pun adanya Pakar Pelawat.

Untuk re-endering, I would like to apologise, Yang Berhormat, I do not know the clear status why the retendering has been done but I can get back to you on that matter. Thank you very much.

Baru Bian's debate speech, DUN Sarawak May 2017


STATE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY SARAWAK

11-22 MAY 2017

Mr. Speaker,



Thank you for giving me the opportunity to address this august House on the occasion of debating the speech of the Governor on 11 May 2017.



·       OPENING


I wish to record my condolences to the widow and family of the late Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Datuk Amar Adenan Satem who passed away on 11 January this year. We may have been on opposite sides of the floor but we were on the same page in wanting the best for Sarawak and Sarawakians. I congratulate the newly elected member for N3 Tanjong Datu and wish her all the best for a fulfilling term as ADUN.



My best compliments to the new Chief Minister, the newly appointed Deputy Chief Minister, Ministers and Assistant Ministers.



·       DRUG PROBLEM IN LAWAS

The first issue I wish to bring up is the drug scourge in Lawas and the associated problems that arise. Three weeks ago, the Anti Drugs Agency revealed that 23 out of 99 students in 4 schools in Lawas tested positive for drugs in a random urine test.



This figure of almost 25% students using drugs may have come as a shock to many, but it was no surprise to the people of Lawas and the surrounding villages. It certainly was not a surprise for me, as I had been talking about this problem in almost every session of DUN since 2011.



The drug problem is now widespread in the schools and villages. I am thankful that the authorities have finally acknowledged the seriousness of the drug abuse problem in Lawas and I applaud the Minister Of Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family And Childhood Development for going to the ground there to see for herself the seriousness of the situation. The people were very encouraged by the dialogue with the community leaders in Lawas in December and in Buduk Nur in April. The workshop organised by the Ministry early this month in Lawas was timely and necessary and I am glad that there is now a concerted effort to engage various segments of society in the war against drugs and a programme called TAHAI (Tiada Ancaman Dadah Hidup).



The 3-prong programme involving Education, Community and Rehabilitation includes training teachers and community leaders to identify drug addicts by visible signs and conduct urine tests, consistent anti-drug messaging by school principals, giving powers of arrest to certain individuals, enforcement of homemade rules for villagers such as curfews and smoking bans, all of which I support.



I was also informed that the police have a programme in place and are planning to carry it out in Lawas as a pilot case. I look forward to positive results from this programme and hope that it will be successful enough to be implemented throughout Sarawak.



The only way to move forward is for parents, teachers, community leaders, religious institutions, government agencies, and community groups and associations to work together, and I hope that all parties will work relentlessly until the drug scourge is eliminated.



One factor that must be considered is the provision of rehabilitation facilities for drug addicts. There is only one rehabilitation centre in Sarawak, located in Kuching. The government must consider opening more such centres, perhaps one in the central zone and another in the northern zone. Besides making treatment more accessible, this would make it easier for recovering addicts’ families to visit them regularly to provide the support they need to go through the process, and thereby reduce the chances of them falling back to their old ways.



In the war against drugs, the authorities must also step up their efforts to identify and arrest the drug bosses and their major dealers. It was heartening to read about the arrests made in the past few months, but we are still waiting to hear of charges being laid against those arrested. In the case of the teacher arrested, I understand that he had been transferred to Lawas Education Office. This move was taken by the villagers, and they are puzzled that the teacher seems to have been spared punishment. I hope that the authorities will conduct their investigations speedily and bring charges against those arrested without delay. 



In a related matter, I was most disturbed to learn of the mistreatment of 3 arrested Sarawakians in Long Bawan in Indonesia barely 2 weeks ago, which led to a temporary blockade of the road access to Indonesia at Ba’ Kelalan. The first suspect was ambushed by the TNI (Tentera Negara Indonesia) at the border and was apparently beaten up. The other 2 suspects were arrested not long after and they were made to crawl some distance across the border, resulting in injuries to their knees and elbows.



The TNI transported the 3 suspects to Long Bawan but did not hand them over to the police until the next day. When the family members and a member of the Malaysian police force went to Long Bawan to see the first suspect, he had bruises and cuts to his face and eyes and looked beaten up. He was taken to the clinic for treatment upon the Malaysian police officer’s insistence, with his legs in chains, while the other two were taken to Nunukan.



The first suspect escaped from the clinic but was found hiding in a drain near Long Nawang later the same day. When faced with arrest, he stood up and put his hands up, but was shot by the police twice, injuring his arm and thigh, with a bullet lodged in his thigh.



The next day, his family members and the same police officer went again to see him in Long Bawan. They found him at the airport, lying on the ground without a stretcher, about to be sent to Nunukan. They managed to speak to him, and learnt about how he had been ill-treated. He was taken to Terakan clinic, where the bullet in his thigh was removed 6 days later.



This incident led to the blockade of the road by angry family members and villagers, who wanted to ‘punish’ the Indonesians for the ill-treatment of these 3 Sarawakians.



Mr Speaker, the villagers were not right to set up the blockade, but I can understand their feelings. I do not condone drug trafficking; in fact I condemn such activity. However, the way these three suspects were treated by the Indonesian police was completely unwarranted and unlawful. The three men should have been taken into custody in a proper manner as suspects under the law, and their rights observed instead of being shot and abused. I hope that this message will be conveyed to the authorities in Indonesia.



I understand that the Malaysian CID had investigated the incident and I look forward to learning the outcome of the investigations.



In the meantime, the families of these three men are extremely concerned about their well-being and worried that the ill treatment they received is an indication that they will not receive fair trials in Indonesia. The government must view this matter seriously and take steps to ensure that this is not repeated. The peaceful and harmonious relationship that had existed between the two sides must be restored, and I propose that there be a reconciliation meeting between the heads of the communities from both sides, so that we can come to an understanding. We must not forget that we are the same people, the only difference being our nationalities.



·       TELECOMMUNICATION ISSUES

Whilst the people of Ba’ Kelalan are thankful to the Telco for constructing the telecommunications tower in Long Semadoh, the network has been down for the last 2 months, resulting in a loss of communications for the people. The villagers have been patient but two months is really too long, and I hope the problem can be rectified without delay.



·       ROADS

The Long Semadoh - Ba’ Kelalan road condition has deteriorated so much that some parts are impassable when it rains. The road had been handed over to JKR but has not been maintained. I would like to ask the Minister concerned what the allocation is for the maintenance of this road and when repairs will be taken. I had noticed that rails are being placed along the road, but that appears to be a misplaced priority as it is impossible for cars to be driven at any speed along the road that is in such bad condition.



The Lawas-Damit Road, for which repairs were supposed to commence in April, according to JKR, is still in appalling condition. The temporary road repair carried out consisted of throwing gravel on the potholes and broken parts of the road, which has not improved the road in any significant way. I hope the JKR will take immediate measures to undertake proper repairs of this major road immediately.



·       SCHOOLS

I am grateful to the Minister Of Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development for her visit to my constituency and especially to SK Long Sukang to see for herself the abandoned construction. I would like to know whether the retendering for the project has been done, and when construction is expected to recommence, noting that this is listed as a project of the highest priority in Rolling Plan 1.



The schools in Ba’ Kelalan and Lawas are old and dilapidated. Only two schools in Ba’ Kelalan are made of concrete, the others being constructed of wooden boards. Several are very unsafe, and SK Long Luping is still without water supply. How can we hope to provide a proper education for the children in the rural areas when the facilities are so lacking? We are failing the people in a big way when we do not provide adequate educational facilities.



·       ILLEGAL GAMBLING

Cyber gambling centres are still operating in Lawas despite the occasional reported raids on such places. There appears to be an enforcement issue here. Can the Minister concerned please inform this Dewan of the number of arrests made, cases prosecuted and convicted in Lawas during the past year? What measures are being taken to continuously monitor the town for such activities and to shut these places down?



·       NATIVE CUSTOMARY RIGHTS

I welcome the setting up of the committee by the Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land & Regional Development to look into the amendment of the law to recognise the rights of the people to their ‘pemakai menoa’ and ‘pulau galau’ territories. The decision of the Federal Court in December last year that the concept of ‘pemakai menoa’ and ‘pulau galau’ have no force in law was misconceived and caused grave injustice to the native landowners of Sarawak. There is no other way but to amend the Land Code and I urge the government to ensure this is done no later than by the next sitting of this Dewan.



·       INTERIOR PARALLEL HIGHWAY AND RAILWAY

In December last year, the Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of Infrastructure Development and Transportation had proposed the building of an interior highway from Balleh to link the three hydro-projects near the Sarawak-Indonesia border. I support this suggestion and propose that this interior highway be extended to link with the northern hinterland from Lawas to Ba’ Kelalan and Bario. This will open up the area for tourism and act as a catalyst for economic development.



I would also like to suggest that the government seriously consider building a railway to link Kuching to all the major cities all the way to Lawas and eventually to Sabah. This would make travel so much easier, and benefit all the people of Sarawak. Most countries have railway services that are the major mode of intercity transportation of both people and goods, and in many countries, the existence of railways helped to bring about economic change, if not economic revolution. The excess power from the Bakun Dam can be utilised to power the trains, if we should have a railway line. Undoubtedly the capital outlay will be high, but the advantages and benefits to the people and the economy may justify the expense. I request that the government commission a cost-benefit analysis to be carried out for consideration.



·       BUDGET ALLOCATION FOR REPRESENTATIVES

Mr Speaker, recently the matter of budget allocations for ADUNs has been discussed in the public forum and again, it was pointed out by certain ADUNs from BN that the allocations such as the RM5mil Rural Transformation Project allocation, the federal ‘Projek Mesra Rakyat’ allocation and the Minor Rural Programme fund are not available for non-BN representatives. This is nothing but the government bullying and punishing the people for exercising their democratic rights to vote for the representatives of their choice. The funds come from the people in the form of taxes – income taxes, road taxes, property taxes, GST and so on -  and every citizen has equal rights to enjoy the benefit of their tax contribution. If they continue to be deprived, can they elect not to pay any form of taxes?



I am urging the government to stop this archaic and oppressive practice and to start operating in a more democratic and fairer manner. The creation of a new ministerial position, Minister in the Chief Minister's Department (Integrity And Ombudsman) must mean that the government wishes to project itself as one that values integrity. One of the key features of a government of integrity is that all citizens are treated equally, and none discriminated against for their political leanings. Therefore, the allocations must also be made available to representatives from the opposition, who have the same duties to their constituents as the BN representatives have to theirs. Otherwise, the discriminatory actions of the government will just make a mockery of the office of the Minister of Integrity and Ombudsman.



·       CHALLENGES TO THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION AND MALAYSIA AGREEMENT



Mr Speaker, the Federation of Malaysia was founded on the Malaysia Agreement and the Federal Constitution. The Malaysia Agreement has been the basis of the engagement between Sarawak (and Sabah) and Malaya, and the Federal Constitution is regarded as the social contract between the many racial groups in this country.



Increasingly, the guarantees and rights preserved in these contractual documents are being challenged by several groups, and we must repel these challenges if we are to realise our founding fathers’ vision of the Malaysia they had hoped to achieve.



The independence of the judiciary had been undermined over 20 years ago by an amendment to the Article 121(1) of the Federal Constitution, and the recent decision of the Federal Court written by Justice Zainon Ali that the judicial power of the court resides in the Judiciary, is to be applauded. We need more strong and courageous voices to be heard as we try to restore the separation of powers in this country. The executive has had increasing power over the other 2 arms of government, so that they are now effectively controlling the country, and this has impacted negatively on the country’s democracy index. Each of us, irrespective of political leanings, must do our part to ensure that the basic tenets upon which our nation was founded are restored and preserved.



Mr Speaker, the economic situation is getting worse by the day. The prices of goods have been steadily increasing, and the people are feeling the pinch. The middle and lower income groups are unable to make ends meet, many of them falling into debt. Recently, it was revealed that Cuepacs estimates that 100,000 civil servants are near to bankruptcy. There are external factors at play, but one of the major factors is the appalling mismanagement of the nation by a government of self- serving politicians. Malaysia is well known for the mega corruption scandals, most notably the 1MBD fiasco, which is costing the taxpayers billions. Enforcement agencies are unable or unwilling to act against the masterminds, but focus on catching the small fish in corruption crackdowns, just to placate the masses. This is why we must restore the integrity of government, and the separation of powers, so that no arm of government is subject to another, and all wrongdoers can be made accountable for their crimes.



Finally, on the matter of religious freedom, I cannot emphasise strongly enough the very fundamental understanding between Sarawak/Sabah and Malaya, that the Federation of Malaysia, which they had agreed to form, was to be a secular country. The attempts by PAS to introduce hudud law show complete disrespect for this agreement, and we must stand up against this assault. The feeble justifications that the RUU355 is not hudud has been debunked by many scholars, and the even more ludicrous assurance that the laws will not apply to non-Muslims is met with disdain and disbelief, for history is replete with instances where non-Muslims have been subject to Islamic practices in the name of modesty, avoidance of confusion, respect and other such excuses. Such incidences prove that our concern is not misplaced. We must ensure that Malaysia remains a secular country – if at any time she loses this secular status, we consider the Malaysia Agreement to be breached and repudiated.



On a related matter, I wish to express my alarm at the abduction of Pastor Raymond Koh, and the disappearance of Pastor Joshua and his wife Ruth Hilmy. These incidences are widely believed to be acts of religious vigilantism or terrorism, and many are baffled at the inability of the police to solve the case. This raises the issue of security, for how safe are we, when innocent citizens can just disappear without a trace, and the police are seen to be impotent?



With all the problems plaguing this country – corruption scandals at high levels, economic strife, lack of security – it looks like Malaysia is fast becoming a failed state. UMNO has wrought immeasurable damage on this country long enough, and we must reject them at the next elections if we have any feelings for this country and her long-suffering citizens. Barisan National component parties in Sarawak must face the fact that the Prime Minister has failed Malaysia, and withdraw their support for him and UMNO. This is the chance for Sarawak to make a mark in the history of this country. Our forefathers did not intend for us to be mere followers of Malaya; they wanted us to exercise our own judgment and stand up for what is right for this country and her people. We have the golden opportunity to make a difference and I pray that we will have the courage and conviction to seize the opportunity.



In closing, I wish all the Dayak communities a Happy and Safe Gawai. and a fruitful harvest. To all Muslim friends, Selamat Berpuasa and Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri.



May God Bless Sarawak and all her people, and let justice and righteousness flow like the mighty Rejang river from this august house and flood our beloved ‘Fair Land Sarawak’.





Thank you, Mr Speaker.



Baru Bian

N81 Ba’ Kelalan.